ANSWERS TO SEPT-OCT 'WHAT IS IT?'


| March/April 1969



Eagle tractor

Courtesy of Wilfred Service Beeton, Ontario, Canada

Wilfred Service Beeton

47 Deland Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43214

I happen to have some information relative to Russell Ginnow's interesting 'B & EM Co.' upright engine pictured in the Sept-Oct. 'What is it?' (pg. 22). In your Nov-Dec 'Smoke Rings' column Paul Harvey correctly interpreted the hieroglyphics as eminating from the Bates and Edmonds Motor Co. of Lansing, Mich. He mentioned that he also had an example with a 'Fairbanks Co.' nameplate and suggested that this concern might have been the real builder. Actually it was the other way around. Bates and Edmonds built the engines and Fairbanks Company jobbed them.

There are a number of engine floating around with nice brass tags that say 'The Fairbanks Co, New York City,' among them the 5 horse Callahan owned by Joe Davidson and myself (GEM Jul-Aug 1966, pg. 16). In 1960, when we had just restored this engine, we had not yet identified it and we wrote to the Fairbanks Co. requesting information. They are still in business in New York City, making valves and hand trucks. Fifty years ago they were one of the largest distributors of machine shop equipment in the world, and they handled several lines of gas engines. They have never been connected in any way with Fairbanks, Morse.

We had a couple of very cordial letters from their Mr. Philip Fallon, who stated quite definitely that 'Fairbanks Company never made a gas engine of its own.' He inquired among the older employees and found that they did remember selling a 'Bull Dog' engine made by Bates and Edmonds. Our Callahan stumped them, however, so he for warded our letter and picture to the Smithsonian Institution (who were also stumped).

Mr. Fallon did find a Fairbanks Company catalogue, vintage 1920, in their files and he was kind enough to send it to us. It is a big book, over an inch thick, titled 'Mill, Mine, and Railway Supplies.' It contains all kinds of goodies including the Bates and Edmonds 'Bull Dog' horizontals from 2 to 16 Hp. a Hvid injection Diesel built along the same lines in 6, 8, and 12 Hp, the St. Marys Hvid injection Diesel (side shaft) in 20 and 30 Hp, the Buckeye 2 cycle vaporizing oil engines from 55 hp singles to 260 Hp twins, and several makes of marine engines.

We still run across the horizontal 'Bull Dogs' occasionally when collecting in this part of the country. The uprights like Mr. Ginnow's and Paul's are the rare ones everybody wants to find. Both had the exhaust valve worked by a pull rod and a rock shaft running across the front of the head. The upright was built in a 1? Hp size, which would no doubt be the rating of Mr. Ginnow's 4 x 4. I have a reproduction of a very nicely executed drawing of the upright which was obtained from good friend Tom Stockton of Ann Arbor, Mich. It is titled 'Bates and Edmonds Motor Co, Lansing, Mich.' and was drawn by H. Williamson in July of 1902. It shows the parts you need, Paul-will have to loan it to you.